England captain Phil Vickery admits his team have got nowhere to hide during the next fortnight as they plot an unlikely ambush on France.
The Grand Slam favourites will arrive at Twickenham on March 11, with England reeling from a demoralising Croke Park experience that saw them break records for all the wrong reasons.
But while at least a third of the team must now sweat over their immediate international futures in World Cup year, Vickery has already started the healing process by telling his players they cannot dwell on Saturday's Dublin debacle.
He said: "We cannot make excuses. I am very proud of my team and I am a proud Englishman, and we know we have got a lot of work to do. This defeat hurts, but we have to take it on the chin.
"It's going to be tough over the next two weeks, but we've got nowhere to hide. We have got to face up to what is going to be a huge ask in two weeks' time.
"There is no point in making excuses. We weren't good enough. When you are that far behind playing against a side as good as Ireland, you need a miracle.
"Ireland thoroughly deserved their victory. They have got a fantastically powerful side, on and off the field. I think it is the best Irish team for some time."
The normally reliable and unflustered Josh Lewsey was below his best - a fact underlined by his weak defensive effort in trying to prevent Horgan's 65th-minute try when an O'Gara cross-kick reaped its reward.
Lewsey said: "There were all sorts of facets in the game where we didn't do what we said we were going to do, which is frustrating.
"Three or four years ago, Ireland were by their own admission a 'nearly' side with great potential, but on the biggest stages against the best teams they didn't deliver.
"That mental toughness they've now got has come from provincial level - Munster won the Heineken Cup last season - and they are now one of the best international teams in the world."
The only English highlight was provided by Strettle, who could reflect on a job well done after his late call-up to replace neck injury victim Jason Robinson.
"It was amazing, an unbelievable experience," he said. "It was a day I will never forget."